South Korea has one of the world's most active telecommunications and Information Technology markets backed by strong support from the government. Spending on ICT and high-technology equipment helped lead a transformation of the economy to one that is more progressively knowledge based. Having invested significantly in basic' telecommunications infrastructure over past decades, the country now has well developed submarine cable and satellite infrastructure as well as solid internet resources to support the growing demand for national and international communications. The government involvement continues with the aim of transforming the country into a knowledge-based information society in a smart-age'.
The South Korean Government had a declared commitment to transition the country to digital terrestrial, digital cable and digital satellite TV broadcasting by 2012. The pressure created by convergence prompted South Korea to rewrite its regulatory arrangements for the broadcasting and communications sector. The operators continue to invest heavily in fibre based broadband deployments. As a result IPTV subscriptions have passed the 7 million mark as more content is available and the operators are able to compete more effectively with their own live broadcasts.
South Korea continues to be a booming mobile market as it innovatively explores the options for value-added services. The market passed the 110% penetration rate mark into 2013 with many individuals carrying at least one mobile phone. Having launched 3G networks in 2003, these had accounted for the majority of subscriptions. More recently, following the launch of 4G LTE services in 2011, this technology is quickly overwhelming the market and, coming into 2014, it had claimed 50% of the total mobile subscriber base. Not surprisingly, there has also been a rapid increase in smartphone adoption.
South Korea has the world's highest number of broadband services per capita. Into 2014 over 38% of the population and around 95% of households were broadband subscribers. FttX accounted for over 60% of total subscriptions. Since 2006, Korea's policy emphasis has been on completing a Broadband convergence Network (BcN) with wireline speeds of 50-100Mb/s per household and 1-2Mb/s on wireless connections. The plan moving forward has been for a UBcN (Ultra Broadband convergence Network) with 1Gb/s speeds on fixed lines and 10Mb/s on wireless by 2013.
The drive towards a new economy' has seen significant investments in Smart Infrastructure including Cloud Computing, Smart Grids and Smart Cities. The emergence of a National Strategy for Green IT has seen government promotion of new industry creation into 2018 such as 4G broadcasts and 3D and Smart television.
Key Topics Covered
- Key Statistics
- Telecommunications Market
- Regulatory Environment
- Major Operators
- Telecommunications Infrastructure
- Internet Market
- Broadband Market
- Digital Media / Digital Economy
- Mobile Communications
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